Mountain Crest’s wrestling team was ranked third in Utah, regardless of classification, in the most recent Beehive Top 25 poll, and the Mustangs strongly suggested they deserved that spot based on their performance at the Wasatch Intermountain Duals.

The Mustangs went 7-1 at arguably the most prestigious dual-style tournament in the Beehive State. None of the teams went undefeated last weekend, but Mountain Crest claimed the title because it scored more points than anyone else.

Among the teams the Mustangs outpointed were second-ranked Wasatch (50-24) and fifth-ranked Pleasant Grove (44-23), and both in convincing fashion. Mountain Crest was edged by fourth-ranked Payson, 36-34.

The Mustangs accomplished this feat despite being without defending 4A state champion Gabe Sanders, who was sidelined by a stomach flu.

“We had a lot of guys that did amazing,” MC head coach Jay Tovey said. “Sam McMurray pinned all of his guys, and a few others I think won all of their matches. Cooper Sanders went 7-1 and his only loss came to (Cole) Jensen from Payson. It was an awesome way to go into the (holiday) break. Our JV guys also won the Viewmont JV tournament.”

Indeed, McMurray dispatched of all eight of his opponents by fall, and he competed at heavyweight in six of those matches. McMurray typically wrestles at the 220-pound weight class.

Wyatt Larsen (160 pounds) also went 8-0 for the Mustangs, with six of those wins being recorded by pin or technical fall. Sanders (120), Terrell Lee (126), Zack Smith (152) and Brayden Guthrie (182/195) only lost one bout each for Mountain Crest, and Lee’s setback was by two points to a returning state placer from Maple Mountain. Guthrie defeated a returning state medalist from Payson.

Brock Guthrie (170/182) and Hunter Schroeder (195/220) competed in every round for the Mustangs, and both athletes won all but two of their duels.

In addition to reigning supreme against Wasatch and Pleasant Grove, Mountain Crest was triumphant against Mountain Ridge (43-25), Sheridan, Wyoming (64-12), Maple Mountain (59-19), Green River, Wyoming (39-33), and the Pleasant Grove B squad (66-18).

OTHER LOCAL TEAMS

Ridgeline placed eighth out of 16 teams at the Viewmont Invitational. The Riverhawks racked up 100 points. Highland (Idaho) held off Duchesne by four points, 204-200, to claim the title.

Ridgeline was once again led by Colter Ricks, who earned the right to stand on the top spot of the podium at 145 pounds. The senior went 5-0 and pinned his first three foes. Ricks gutted out a one-point victory over a returning state placer from Highland (Idaho) in the semifinals, and then handled Viewmont’s Moses Espinoza-Owens by major decision in the finals.

Rhett Gebert also advanced to the championship round for the Riverhawks and was beaten by a Highland (Idaho) competitor. Ryan Orduno (106) and Brenden Gessell (138) were Ridgeline’s other two medalists as they both placed fifth. Ridgeline’s Dylan Nelson (132) didn’t make it to the placement rounds, but he did win four matches in a deep weight class.

Preston and West Side traveled to Malad for the 10-team Malad Invitational. The Indians finished sixth with 97 points, while the Pirates were ninth with 61. Marsh Valley captured the title with 170.5 points, which was only one more than Malad.

Preston had three medalists, including 145-pound champion Caigun Keller. Keller won all four of his bouts by at least six points and dispatched of Oakley’s Levi Jackson, 11-4, in the finals.

Brayden Weisbeck (126) and Lincoln Bradford (132) emerged victorious in their third-place duels for the Indians. All five of Weisbeck’s wins were by fall.

West Side also had a trio of placers, including two athletes who finished third in Tige Roberts (106) heavyweight Connor Robinson, who stuck three opponents in less than 30 seconds. Zach Groll was fourth at 182 pounds for the Pirates.

A short-handed Sky View squad competed against a tough field in the Weber-hosted Jody Warren Duals. The tourney also featured traditionally strong programs Star Valley (Wyoming), Bear River, Morgan and Fremont.

Hunter Larsen (220) defeated all seven of his opponents, including five in pinning fashion. The senior’s closest bout was 8-3. The Bobcats forfeited at least five matches in all seven of their duals.

PREP BOYS HOOPS

West Side head coach Tyler Brown was frustrated with his team played on Day 1 of the Green River (Wyoming) Tournament as he quipped “we should have just stayed home and went to school.” The Pirates struggled offensively last Thursday in a 61-43 setback to host Green River.

To their credit, the Pirates (3-2) quickly got back on track. West Side thumped Jackson Hole (Wyoming) 73-36 on Day 2 of the tourney, and then rolled past Evanston (Wyoming) 74-47 on Day 3.

Four West Side players scored at least 10 points against Evanston, led by Isaac Frankman, who poured in 16 of his 23 points in the second half. Ryan Beckstead finished with 13 points, while Blaize Brown and Connor Nielsen combined for 22.

The Pirates outscored the Red Devils 40-17 in the second half to turn a hard-fought contest into a rout.

“Good way to head into Christmas break,” coach Brown said.

Meanwhile, Logan snapped a seven-game skid in thrilling fashion on the third and final day of the Coach Walker Classic last Saturday at Dixie State University. Ethan Davis provided the heroics on a bucket with two seconds remaining in the fourth quarter to propel the Grizzlies (2-7) to a 53-52 triumph over Crimson Cliffs.

Logan trailed by seven points at halftime, but netted 37 of its 53 points in the third and fourth quarters. Jadin Penigar scored 12 of his game-high 24 points in the final quarter for the Grizzlies, who got nine points from Davis and eight from Jaylen Sargent.

Jason Turner is a sports reporter for The Herald Journal. He can be reached at jturner@hjnews.com or 435-792-7237.

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